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Men Go Crazy In Congregations

“‘I speak only for myself, mind – it is my own truth alone – but man as part of a movement or a crowd is indifferent to me. He is inhuman. And I have nothing to do with nations, or nationalism. The only feelings I have – for what they are – are for men as individuals; my loyalties, such as they may be, are to private persons alone.’

‘Patriotism will not do?’

‘My dear creature, I have done with all debate. But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.’


Sorry I took so long to get to this series. Helluva read.


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14 Responses to Men Go Crazy In Congregations

  1. Stick with the series, too. It remains involving. As is almost always true, some books move more slowly than others, but even that seems to work, especially when you consider that life on a sailing vessel must have been full of tedium, punctuated by furious action (either in battle or bad weather).

  2. Tracy Sharp says:

    Hey Joe, you and Peter Straub posed for a photo for me after the award banquet. Can I use that photo on my blog?

  3. Betsy Boo says:

    I remember seeing this series in the bookstore when I worked there. We always had a lot of men lookiing for it…never any women. I’m curious, Joe…is this a “Man’s Series” essentially, or do you think a woman would get anything out of it? I really, REALLY respect your opinion about recs.

  4. phil17larry33 says:

    No man is an island tuff guy.

  5. Tom Horn says:

    Re-reading and re-reading again, I am constantly delighted by the clever quotable prose in these books.

    One of my favorites:

    ‘No, no: your omens keep threatening disaster – they did so before Grimsholm, and you see what happened: all cry with no wolf at the end of it. I have done with omens,’ he said, grasping a belaying-pin. ‘But your falling glass is another kettle of fish: your glass is scientific.’

  6. M&M+S says:

    I agree with BB. I always enjoyed your recommendations list…hint, hint!

  7. Carol says:

    I loved the Patrick O’Brian series, and I’m a woman with no interest in sailing and not much in war either; they’re really about the interplay between the characters, and the language, and are amazingly funny and charming; some of the most gripping action scenes ever written; and later in the series, quite romantic too. I know other women who’ve enjoyed them as well. Great stuff.

  8. Betsy Boo says:

    Thanks Carol! I’ll give it a chance…as soon as I’m off my book diet. I’ve bought way too many books lately. Now it’s back to the personal bookshelves to see if I missed reading any good ones.

  9. M&M+S says:

    I was wondering if there is some way that a person can pay to get a download/dvd/other media copy of ‘POP ART’ …I have been wanting a copy to watch again ever since Ive seen it online.

  10. Vicki says:

    I guess this another passage that’s going to fly over my head. In terms of what the point is, I’m totally lost. But you can’t go by what I think. I’m supposed to get up at 6 in the freakin’ morning from now on to be at work by 7. And I don’t even know what type of doctors I’m going to be working with, while my salary’s been cut to part time, along with my hours.
    So I have to literally “work for pennies in my pocket.” As the band NSG sings in their song ‘Holiday.’
    Pennies in my pocket for a holiday….

    Incidentally, mornings may have been made for many reasons, but THINKING wasn’t one of them.
    Even caffeine was no help in that area. I just hope to God my mouth stays closed when I want it to. I’ve never tried to keep my mouth closed so early in the morning. ; )D
    Oh, and thank God for Kelly Braffet, who helped me find a passable way of communicating online.
    You’re lucky to be related to her.

  11. Vicki says:

    And I probably should have read Tom Horn’s comment, b/c it explains it.
    I had the worst possible day a medic could have, and it occurred just a few minutes ago. I’ll spare anyone the disgusting details but, I’m telling you, this day would include a positive gold mine of stories to use as fodder for any good horror novel.
    That was one of the reasons I thought I’d be a good writer, besides the fact that I DO have some talent in the area. I thought my experience working in Emergency Medicine would help me.
    How was I to know my first editor would be a jerk.
    I know a lot of them are nice, but I can think of no other word to describe a person who insists that he knows more about the anatomy of the human skull than a certified paramedic.
    It’s like the first George Bush, who made that little third grade girl respell the word broccoli, b/c he decided she spelled it wrong. When he was the one who misspelled the word, and he insisted that she respell it his way.

  12. Dave B in MN says:

    I wonder what Patrick O’Brien has to say about a man who always hates his country . . .

  13. LL says:

    You ever heard that saying “My country right or wrong” is like saying “My mother drunk or sober?”

    I’ve done all of the O’ Brian books a couple times. Worth the bother. He was a little bit of a fraud, but that’s all the more reason to be fond of him. Reading “Horns” right now (actually on my Ipod).

    As a side note I looked you up online (clearly) and realized that in the 1970s a friend of mine ran a kid’s summer program at a ski camp around where you grew up. Used to see your dad come to pick you (and your brother?) up. Anyway, Scott said that you were a tale teller back then (’76 or 7). Glad of your success.

    As a side note to Dave B. – O’Brian was very knowledgable about the post-war french intelligentsia so he evidently wasn’t repelled by collaborationists.

  14. Alvin says:

    It’s a wonderful series. I read it years ago. So many books, so little time . . . I’d love to read the series again, but I’ll settle for doing it vicariously, through you.

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